Traverse City Ticker on Custer's Workplace Reengagement Services


Northern Michigan began reopening its economy this weekend, with many restaurants, bars, and retail stores redesigning their layouts or revamping their business models to offer safe customer service. So what does the “new normal” mean for commercial office spaces? We spoke to the largest local employers and corporate interior specialists to hear what the workplace of the future (or weeks from now) looks like. One hint? Cubicles might be back in vogue.

While local businesses are making plans to bring their teams back into the office, those strategies are still largely in their early stages. Last Monday, when Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the executive order that reopened northern Michigan’s economy for Memorial Day weekend, she only allowed workers to go back into office settings “to the extent that such work is not capable of being performed remotely.” On Friday, Whitmer extended the state’s stay-at-home order to June 12.

Coco Champagne, COO for Hagerty, Traverse City’s largest private employer, says only about two-percent of the company’s employees are currently working in the office, handling mail fulfillment and key administrative functions; the other 98 percent are working remotely and likely won’t return to the office until July. Similarly, Britten — which employs more than 250 staff members — has had production workers on-site since it pivoted to making hospital gowns, but is just starting to revamp office workspaces for the return of those employees.

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